Getting your hands on Osaka’s most famous street food, okonomiyaki, has got much easier in London over the past couple of years. But for our money this stalwart (and sister restaurant Abeno by the British Museum) are still the best for the full experience. Pop your bags and coats in the cleverly designed chest seating, then watch as the staff diligently mix the thick pancake-like batter in front of you, before cooking it on table and counter-top grills. It’s then smothered with mayo, tangy worcestershire-style sauce, aonori seaweed and smoked bonito flakes that sway majestically in the heat. The spectacle is always fun to watch. As well as the ample range of okonomiyaki fillings – anything from pork, squid and kimchi to pork, bacon, cheese and salmon – stir-fried noodles (yaki-soba) and noodles wrapped in omelette (om-soba) also make popular choices.
Highlights of a recent visit included perfectly tender chunks of squid in a Tokyo-mix okonomiyaki, plus a cooling summer special of simmered, chilled baby aubergine with dashi and ginger. Just five minutes from the hustle and bustle of Trafalgar Square, Abeno Too makes the perfect place to refuel on cheap and filling Japanese fare. It’s no wonder the small cluster of tables and counter-side seats are often packed.